In Tajikistan, the New York Post has confirmed that ISIS has claimed responsibility for a car attack that killed U.S. citizens, Jay Austin and Lauren Geoghegan, both 29-years-old, as they followed their life’s dream to “cycle around the world.”
The two civilian cyclists even quit their office jobs in order to follow their passion. It appears, nowhere Muslim extremists exist is safe for anyone who is not an Islamic zealot. The Washington D.C. couple wrote of their adventures on a blog called “Simply Cycling,” where they spoke of their passion and declared, “life is short and the world is big and we want to make the most of our youth and good health before they’re gone.”
Those are very wise words which now hang in the air like a grim echo.
She also said, “He was just a gentle soul who cared about the world and not leaving any footprint and leaving it a better place.”
In 2012, Reason.com did a video on a home that Austin built which was a “145-square-foot tiny house he built and lived in.”
His girlfriend, Geoghegan, graduated from Georgetown in 2010 and she still worked in the admissions office before joining her partner on their worldwide adventure.
Robert and Elvira Geoghegan, her parents, said that this decision “was typical of her enthusiastic embrace of life’s opportunities, her openness to new people and places and her quest for a better understanding of the world.” In photos, the two cyclists appear to have been blissfully happy with one another.
The pair talked about the kindness shown to them in Africa, Europe, and Asia, but there were also hard times. “Badness exists, sure, but even that’s quite rare. By and large, humans are kind. Self-interested sometimes, myopic sometimes, but kind. Generous and wonderful and kind. No greater revelation has come from our journey than this,” Austin wrote.
Morbidly, it was some of those rare bad apples that ended his life, thus making this entry also rather cryptic in light of what happened.
The cyclists had planned to keep biking for a year longer, “…or two or three. But only if we’re enjoying it,” they whimsically wrote.
“For them to be in this one place where they decided to kill people is unfathomable to us,” lamented Austin’s mother.
Only about a week prior to their demise, they had written that Tajikistan was hard to cycle in. “It’s cold and windy and mountainous,” the man wrote. He also had acquired a “stomach bug” and this made biking very difficult.
Just “south of the capital, Dushanbe” on Sunday, a car purposefully struck the couple who were soon attacked with knives by Daesh terrorists. The Post wrote that “Rene Wokke from the Netherlands and Markus Hummel from Switzerland” also lost their lives in the assault.
This is the first ISIS attack in the “former Soviet Central Asia,” so the mother’s disbelief that her son just happened to be there for it is quite warranted.
Adding a twist to the tale, Tajikistan is not accepting that the Islamic State carried out the attack. Perhaps they are in denial or simply want to avoid bad press or giving the cutthroats credit, but they blamed “the attack on a banned political party instead.”
The U.S. State Department is not settling for any mere theories. They have condemned the “senseless attack on civilian cyclists” while stating that America is ready to help in the investigation.
Also, the US Embassy in Dushanbe is asking everyone to sign a “condolence book,” according to their Facebook posting. “We’ll be forever be inspired by their kindness and open mindedness and their happiness,” one fellow cyclist wrote already.
These two travelers who seemed to find the very best in everyone were met with the very worst that the world has to offer. ISIS is a group so vile that even the staunchest of peaceniks are not against slaughtering them, in most instances. They hide behind a religion to spread hate and end lives.
Woefully, they claim to have done just that in Tajikistan.